AWARD-WINNING city theatre school Razzamataz is holding a free open day to mark its one year anniversary under new leadership.
Principal Kat Brooks took over the all-singing, all-dancing Saturday school last September, and has watched it go from strength to strength.
The open day is being held on Saturday, September 21, and will give children who are eager to get involved in performing arts a free taster session at the theatre school.
Kat, who graduated with a BA in Drama from Exeter University in 2010, said: "Since I took over last September I have really seen the school grow. We are one of the best performing arts schools in the South West, giving children the opportunity to learn and express themselves while still having loads of fun.
"The open day gives anyone who is interested the chance to come down, check out who we are and what Razzamataz is all about."
Razzamataz shot to success after securing financial backing from Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne in 2007 and now boasts 39 franchises across the country.
Recently it was listed as one of the top five successful businesses in Dragons' Den history.
Kat praised the tycoon's contribution to the school. She said: "It means a lot to have Duncan's support as at the moment there is very little financial backing in the arts.
"It is so important for children to be able to express themselves, and our success on Dragons' Den has given this opportunity to many more children. The funding also allows younger professionals, such as myself, to make more of an impact within the industry."
The school, based at Exeter School in Victoria Park Road, is open to children aged between four and 18, with no audition process.
Classes are divided into minis, juniors, inters and seniors, with each providing excellent training in the performing arts, alongside numerous opportunities for their students to put skills into practice on the stage.
Razzamataz pride themselves on their 'unique Razz style' as they always give a new and exciting take on the material they perform to allow their students to stand out from the crowd.
The classes cover a wide range of performing arts styles, as well as workshops led by external companies for more specialist arts such as soul singing and theatrical clowning. Such variety ensures no Saturday is ever the same.
Kat said: "One week we can be practising graceful contemporary movements, and the next rehearsing hip-hop and street dance. It means we are able to give all of our students a really well-rounded performing arts education and cater for everyone. All of our teachers are local performing arts specialists. Our dance teacher is amazing and has been on the professional circuit touring the world, but we also have some younger coaches and one student who also helps out."
In addition to their classes, the students perform in a number of local events on top of their annual winter showcase and summer show.
Last year's sell-out musical A Very Important Date, was a creative take on the Carroll Classic Alice in Wonderland an was performed at the Barnfield Theatre, Exeter.
The pupils also found time to participate in a West End gala performance held at one of London's most prestigious venues, Her Majesty's Theatre.
They performed alongside fellow franchise schools, taking to the stage in habits for their rendition of Sister Act in true Razz style, dancing and singing in sequined nun habits.
Next year the pupils of the school will return to Her Majesty's Theatre for a completely new West End performance. Kat recalled: "When we did our take of Alice and Wonderland, it was a fun and unique performance. In one scene when Alice is lost in the woods, the cast broke into a dance to Rihanna's Disturbia in the dark, using only UV props to light up the stage. The performance was a completely sell out."
The open day will be held at Exeter School and is free of charge, but place must be booked in advance. Call 07793 113112, email email@example.com or visit www.razzamataz.co.uk for more details.